Editor’s Note: This post first appeared November 18, 2010.

Photo Credit: MaugiArt

Negative connotations of sunglasses after dark:

1) Person is high
2) Person is blind
3) Person is a liar
4) Person is “trying to be cool.”

Note: In the statement “trying to be cool” we see an obvious distaste for the sunglasses after dark (SAD) wearer, as though an attempt to be cool is a negative thing, or an attempt to be better than the viewer. Also inherent in the statement is the suggestion that the person is failing the task of coolness as he is in a constant present-tense state of ‘trying’ yet never achieving.

5) Person is mentally ill.
6) Person is lacking in self-esteem.

The eyes, it seems (and eye contact) are filled with a deep psychological power and have an intimate connectivity to others by nature.

Among men the eye contact works as a sort of mechanism for measuring aggression and therefore insuring proper placement in the pack. By blocking eye contact (not avoiding eye-contact) the male SAD wearer cannot be placed according to perceived strength. He becomes an unknown quantity. This is psychologically unnerving to other males on an animal level.
When a woman, on the other hand, sees a man wearing SAD she may feel an additional intimidation, as women use the eyes as a barometer as a person’s feelings. She may be repelled yet strangely enough captivated by the challenge of trying to get the SAD wearer to remove his shades.

Positive aspects of wearing SAD:

1) By avoiding pack placement you tend to avoid male conflict and contests of aggression.
2) The masking effect lends a bit of intimidation, which adds power to your side.
3) You have the ability to scan a room for danger without appearing apprehensive, which is viewed as weak.
4) You have the ability to scan your surroundings for females without appearing to do so.
a) See who is looking at you (they feel more comfortable looking because they don’t think you’re looking at them if your face isn’t turned in their direction).
b) See where the attractive women are, whom they are with, and if they have a boyfriend that will return in a few minutes, this makes it safer for you to approach.
5) An unreadable expression may lead to discomfort in others, yet this discomfort is not directed outwardly. The reaction given toward the SAD wearer is usually neutral.
6) The way the brow furrows is similar in both anger and sadness. The SAD hide sadness and intensify an angry brow, as the brain is attempting to make eyes out of dark lenses the psychological effect is angry brows over large black eyes.

So the perception of the glasses is greatly disparate between wearer and viewer. Interestingly enough, the act of wearing SAD seems to have quite an impact on the viewer, yet the viewers feelings/opinions have no impact on the SAD wearer. Thus the SAD seem to give the wearer a seeming “evil- (eye) power” over the viewer.

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